The weather has been drearier than usual in Seattle this season. To take a photo worthy of putting showing on the blog, I have, oh, I don't know, maybe a four hour span of good-ish light right in the middle of the day, and even that's not always dependable. Here's a trick I use to help with lack of light and heavy shadows.
My favorite sweet spot is in our south-facing family room. (Do you know where your sweet spots are in your house?) It has five windows and sliding glass doors. In the winter, I usually take photos on the floor, right in front of the sliding glass doors, in hopes of getting a good amount of light and less blur. Although I can still get some big shadows on one side. So I use a large piece of foamcore board wrapped in aluminum foil to hold opposite the sliding glass doors. So, the object I want to photograph is in between the glass and the foil. The foil reflects the light onto the object and suddenly, no more shadows!
Here's an example-
The right is much brighter and the white is whiter, right?
Here's another example-
From here, I sometimes tweak my photos in photoshop and they're good to go. I find I have to alter colors much less if I use this trick.
You could also try just using white foamcore with no foil to reflect the light as well. I happen to like the reflection of the foil, but either works. (I also use a piece of foamcore many times to photograph my objects on.)
Let me know if you try this out!
Unrelated, are you done with your holiday shopping? Or are you frantically "making" like yours truly?